Pool Academy welcomes a new face into the classroom


Students at Pool Academy have been introduced to a new face in the science room this week.

An Axolotl, or Mexican Salamander, has taken up residence in the corner of SC5 after being kindly donated to the science department.

The shy creature is only a couple of months old but has already become a hit by helping Mr Jones teach Biology and Aquatics.

Mr Jones said the little amphibian has helped him to teach a class about exchange of materials.

The small, black/ grey creature is still getting used to its surroundings and has spent its time hiding in a little hollow log inside its tank.

 The Axolotl has yet to be named and Mr Jones is thinking of running a competition for students to come up with the best name for it.

Axolotl live in the wild in lakes in Mexico and eat small fish and worms.

Students learn how to create showstopping cakes

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As popular TV show The Great British Bake Off hits our screens again students at Pool Academy have been learning how to make showstoppers of their own.

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Year 9 Food Technology class members have been whipping up icing to learn tricks of the trade in cake decorating.

Teacher Sam Strana decorated some cakes at the beginning of the week to demonstrate how to use different techniques including piping and feathering.

Students were then allowed to get their creative juices flowing by choosing colours and flavours for toppings and cakes.

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Some admitted they had never iced cakes before and after a lesson of learning the skill had resolved they would try again at home.

Mrs Strana said: “Students have been learning decorating using butter cream and glace icing. I showed them how to do a few techniques like piping and feathering and they then had a go themselves.

“In Year 7 and 8 the students focus on healthy eating so in Year 9 we start to do a lot more with cakes including making Swiss Rolls and decorating.”

She said there were more boys than girls taking cookery classes this year.

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She said the classes were a good starting point for a future career in food and in the past students had gone on to take up apprenticeships with bakers and join catering courses.

Abbie, who was using pink icing for her sponge cakes, said: “I do baking at home. I am going to take home the ones I have made today to show my parents. I think they will be impressed. I would like to do this again at home.”

Cooper was crafting animal faces for the tops of his cakes. He said: “I do like to bake out of school. I go to my auntie’s house to decorate cakes. I also like making Victoria sponges.

“Tonight I am going to go home and make a ladybird cake.”

Jordan used chocolate cookies in his icing. He said: “This is the first time I have decorated cakes. It is going well. I might eat them all afterwards.”

Ben decorated his cakes with butter cream.

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He said: “This was my first time decorating and I did enjoy it. I think I will do it again.

“I like watching the Bake Off and I think Paul Hollywood might like mine. I am going to take my cakes home to show my family.”

Parents and carers meet to learn about student support

Parents and Carers met for the first time this term to learn about how the school supports students.

The topic of the meeting was titled ‘Meet the Leadership Team’. This gave parents the opportunity to hear how each member of the team worked to help support students’ achievements and engagement.

Other items during the evening included Citizenship and Safeguarding.

Mr McKenzie, Head of Science and Assistant Principal, said he was delighted to welcome so many people to the meeting.

He said: "I am really excited to be working with our Parents and Carers Forum this year. We already have a strong number of parents but we would always love to see new faces too."

Steve Eathorne, member of PCF and Parent Governor, said: “I attended my first PCF meeting and really appreciated the Leadership Team taking the time to introduce themselves at the start of the new academic year.  

“It was friendly and informative and this helps reinforce the school’s aim to enable the parents to be inclusive while their children attend Pool Academy.”

 If you would like to know more about the PCF, please email Mr McKenzie at wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

The next meeting will be held on November 21.


Landscape artist runs a digital and screen printing workshop

A landscape artist visited Pool Academy recently to run a digital and screen printing workshop.

Tony Minnion, from Redruth, shared his skills with 15 Year 9 GCSE Art students recently.

During the workshop Mr Minnion invited the children to create a self-portrait and then manipulate it by using Photoshop.

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After distorting their faces with the computer programme they added different layers to the image.  They also incorporated cogs and circuits boards to their images to give them a ‘cyber face’.

Mrs Ellis, Pool Academy Art teacher, said: “The students screen printed their image onto fabric and mono printed pattern on up using vibrant colours.

“The screen printed image was scanned behind the original computer image to create these multi layered, textured designs which form the starting point for the students GCSE Art coursework.”


Mr Minnion’s workshops are community and educationally based and involve working with textiles which explore traditional and new technology.

His own paintings are a response to the landscape around him.

In the past he has collaborated with others from different art forms including writers, story tellers, photographers, performers, scientists, poets and more.


Pool Academy launches Christmas competition

Christmas may be three months away but students have been invited to enter a festive card competition.

Staff at the school are looking for someone to design Pool Academy’s official 2017 Christmas card which will be sent out to governors and other officials.

Everyone is invited to take part and submit their ideas on how they think it should look. All entries will be judged by Principal Miss Meakin.

All ideas are welcome and could range anything from a painting to a sculpture or photograph.

The winner will see their creation professionally printed as well as being given an art set and achievement points.

The competition is being run by the academy’s art teacher Mrs Ellis.

She said: “This is the second time I have run the competition.

“Everyone who enters will get achievement points and Miss Meakin will pick the winning design.

“The card will then be sent out from the school to governors and others.”

Mrs Ellis said there was no set theme but it would have to be appropriate for a Christmas card.

She said: “I would like to see as many people as possible enter. It doesn’t have to be just art; it can be a collage or a 3D piece or something designed on a computer. It can be abstract.

“The competition is open to staff as well and if they win the achievement points can go to their house.”

The designs need to be handed into the art department by October 30. There will be a collection box for all entries.


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Pool Academy eats cake for charity

Cakes of all shapes, sizes and flavours were on offer at Pool Academy to help raise cash for charity.

The admin team at the school had been baking up a treat after taking part in the MacMillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

The school support the event each year to help raise much-needed cash for the charity.

This year the coffee morning was led by Steph York, PA to Leadership Team at Pool Academy.

She said it was lovely to see people volunteering to make cakes for the occasion. Lemon Drizzle cake, Crispie cakes, Apricot Flapjacks, Victoria Sponges, cookies and more were on offer throughout the day. Staff were also invited to take part in a competition to guess the height of a tower cake.

Gemma Toy, Pool Academy Accounts, said: “The cakes were all very yummy and the Lemon Drizzle was fantastic. It is great that the school is able to support the charity by joining in with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.”

Mrs York said: “We like to take part in the Macmillan Cancer Support’s World Biggest Coffee Morning event every year.

“Members of staff bring and buy cakes and we hope to raise more money this year than we have before.

“Staff at Pool Academy like to support such an important charity.

“We are still counting up how much money we have raised over the day but I know that everyone has enjoyed the cake.”

Miss Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “It was lovely to see the admin team work together to help raise money for such an important charity.

“There were so many tasty looking cakes to choose from.

“Macmillan Cancer Support charity offers people who have been diagnosed with the disease vital support and we hope the money we raised today will go towards helping it to continue the good work.”

This year £164.36 has been raised so far.


Successful meet and greet sessions with new principal at Pool Academy

Drop-in sessions held at the beginning of term to meet Pool Academy’s new Principal have been heralded a great success.

Principal Claire Meakin, who took over from Zelma Hill this term, met with new parents before and after school hours during the first two weeks of the year.

A number of parents turned up to grill her with questions.

Ali Eathorne, who’s child is in Year 10, said: “The drop in event was very friendly and relaxed. It was good to meet other parents in the same position as us.

“It provided an opportunity to put faces to names which will make contacting the school less daunting in the future.

“I feel this was a very successful event which I hope will be repeated."

Chris Harper, who has a child is in Year 7, said: “The event seemed to go really well. We had questions answered. It was good that they had an event like this on for the parents. The people who did go found it quite helpful, partly because it was informal and the staff were so welcoming.”

Miss Meakin said: “The sessions were a chance for parents to meet with me and talk about the Academy.

“The parents who came said the experience was really valuable so we're following this up with bookable sessions on October 10, 11 and 12.”

Parents are invited to book a time on one of the October dates to meet with Miss Meakin or one of the leadership team to discuss their child's progress across all subjects. 

Miss Meakin added: “We also hope to combine these discussions with live tours of the academy for parents who would like to see lessons in action.”

An exciting future for Pool Academy

Staff and students are looking forward to an exciting future as Claire Meakin is appointed as new Principal at Pool Academy.

Miss Meakin, previously Vice Principal, has taught at the academy for more than eight years. She has a vision to help students reach their goals and be valued members of the community.

Miss Meakin says: “I am delighted to be leading this incredible academy and look forward to working with the community to strive for excellence for every individual student.

“We will be helping students to dream big and have the very highest expectations of themselves so they can be proud of their achievements in all areas.

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“My vision is to see responsible, active citizens of the community and we will be creating many more opportunities for parents and the wider community to work alongside us on this and to celebrate students’ accomplishments.

“Students already have fantastic opportunities to work with employers, both locally and nationally, and we are very keen to develop this even further.

“I believe it’s through these close partnerships, that we make certain the advice and support we offer students remains current and relevant. 

“Giving our students the right skills for whatever they plan for the future is at the heart of everything we do.

“Technology will inevitably play a big part in their working lives and we strive to ensure that when they leave us they are confident to tackle the challenges of this digital world.”

This vision is also supported by the academy’s new Chair of Governors, Clive Bramley, and Vice Chair, Frank Baker.

Mr Bramley said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Claire Meakin as our Principal. When students come into our Academy they know that we will help them to achieve their potential. Claire's vision will enable them to explore the widest range of opportunities and with our support and guidance they will enjoy the success they all want and deserve.

“This is a very exciting time for our Academy. Please come and see the Academy for yourself during our Open Evening on 28th September 5pm-8pm.”

Past pupils return to Pool Academy to talk about work experience

Two past pupils from Pool Academy returned to school to talk to youngsters about work experience.

Lauren Strickland, 19, and Michael Wong, 20, spoke to Year 9 during their assembly recently to illustrate the importance of choosing good placements.

Becki White, from Future First, also visited with a presentation full of tips on how to be successful while out in the professional world.

She told students work experience was important for CV building, creating motivation and helping identify skills for the future.


Michael left Pool Academy in 2013 and is about to begin working in Structural Engineering with Network Rail in Milton Keynes.  He said his work experience choice, the soft play centre Bombadingas, helped him to rule out certain future career options.

He said: “I learnt I didn’t want to work with children. I learnt I wanted to work with professional people.

“Work experience gave me the confidence to talk to people and to walk into an interview.”

Lauren, who is at Plymouth University studying Early Childhood Education for three to eight year olds, has taken part in a number of work experience placements including a hospital, a primary school and a nursery. She realised she enjoyed working with children.

She said: “I enjoyed work experience in Year 10. It was the first time I was involved with work.

“Even though I enjoyed the independence it was still very challenging. Communicating with other people was challenging because I went from being a student myself to talking to parents and teachers in a professional way.”

Becki said whichever placement students choose to go on they will learn skills which could be transferred to a variety of different careers.

Ms Grenfell, Career Advisor at Pool Academy, invited students to think about work experience and start to get places organised for the June week.

She said: “This is your opportunity to do something you want to do.”

Michael and Lauren said they were pleased to have been invited back to school to talk to students.

Michael said: “It was nice to be invited back to Pool Academy to help inspire students sitting where we used to sit.”

Lauren said: “It was weird coming back to school. The last time I was here I was sitting a geography exam. I love this school. I was here for five years. I just wanted to help the students.”


Pool Academy students go sailing for Bronze

Students from Pool Academy have been sailing at Lake Stithians as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Six youngsters with special educational needs spent the weekend walking and sailing in the area to gain their Bronze award.

On the first day the group walked a third of the way around the lake before going sailing in a Drascombe longboat.

They then set up their camp for the night before cooking their own breakfasts the next day.

The second day also saw them walking the remainder of their route around the lake.

Sarah Jackson, Learning Facilitator at Pool Academy, led the trip with Miss McKune.

She said: “The weather was really good. They absolutely loved it.

“They have now passed the expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.”

She said many of the group only have the skills section of the award to complete before they receive their Bronze award.

Previously the youngsters completed an expedition in and around the Portreath area where they camped, walked and swam over the two-day expedition in hot summer weather.


New Head Boy and Head Girl selected at Pool Academy

Sol Wallace and Amber Gibson have been chosen to act as the New Head Boy and Head Girl this academic year.

More than 60 students applied for one of the 36 prefect roles and 20 were shortlisted for the Head Boy and Head Girl role.

Head Boy and Head Girl for this academic year.

Head Boy and Head Girl for this academic year.

Sol and Amber will be expected to lead the prefect team, run prefect meetings, represent the school at public and community events, mentor younger students, speak at assemblies, awards evenings, parents’ evenings and meet and greet any visitors to school.

Mr Webb, Assistant Principal at Pool Academy, interviewed all the applicants.

He said: “Head Boy and Head Girl are challenging roles which requires exceptional people to fulfil them.

“Both Sol and Amber fit this bill perfectly as both have represented the school on numerous occasions within sporting and student voice events.

“Throughout their time at Pool both students have undertaken student leadership roles and demonstrated impeccable behaviour, making them excellent role models for the younger students to aspire to. “

Amber is studying for her GCSEs and hopes to work with prefects to help students become more community minded.

 “I feel really proud to have been chosen as Head Girl,” she said. “I am looking forward to the responsibility of my role. I really didn’t think I was going to be chosen because all the other candidates were amazing.

“I am really proud to have been chosen and my parents are also really proud of me.”

Sol Wallace is also studying  for his GCSEs and has a keen interest in football and is the captain of the school football team. He also plays for Illogan.

He said: “I am glad I’ve been chosen as Head Boy and I am also a bit surprised as there were a lot of good candidates.

“I am very happy and I like the responsibility.

“In my role I plan to get the voices of everybody heard and want to learn about student perspective to help improve the school.

“I am excited for the future.”

Pool Academy language students travel to Truro

Pool Academy students travelled to Truro to find inspiration into how to use their language skills in the future.

A group of Year 10 met with representatives from University of Bath, University of Exeter and Routes into Languages Consortium at Truro College.

They learnt what studying a languages degree at university involved, what opportunities there are for travelling during a year abroad, about meeting new people from different cultures and starting to network ready for a successful career.

The students then chose one working language and took part in practical workshops throughout the day. They were given different tasks to complete in small groups with the guidance and support of language specialists.

At the end of the day they shared their experiences and were given a certificate for completing the workshops.

Sophie Stevens, Head of Languages at Pool Academy, said: “This was a great chance for students to understand more about the opportunities of studying languages at college and university.

“Students particularly enjoyed hearing about the travel experiences of current college and university linguists.”

Pool Academy students row boat they made from scratch

Pool Academy students have successfully rowed a boat they made from scratch across Stithians Lake.


The school project, which started in 2015, was finally completed recently and taken to nearby waters to see if it could float.

Students had been working on the 17-foot boat project for the last two years and they were excited to finally launch it.

After confirming there were no leaks they climbed aboard and for some it was the first time they had tried rowing.

Mr Sidwell, DT Teacher at Pool Academy, has overseen the project from start to finish.

He said: “The students had a really good day rowing the boat.

“They put it in the water to check it. It all felt completely dry so two jumped in to have a go at rowing it. They each had a go, two at a time.

“It was a really positive day.”

The boat was first tested in 2015 but more work needed to be done including building in rowing positions and floor boards.

Year 9s helped to finish it by painting it black with a small image of the Cornish flag at the front.

Mr Sidwell said it’s not often a school embarks on such ambitious plans to build a boat.

He revealed there may be an opportunity in the future to start another large project.

Sarah Jackson, Learning Facilitator at Pool Academy, also attended the launch.

She said: “We took the boat out on the water and we were out there until lunch time.

“It was the first time lots of the students had rowed the boat

“It was a good day.”

The students carried out the project in their own time once a week on a Friday from 3pm-4pm. It went towards some of the students Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Students ready to row the boat they made at Pool Academy.  Charlie, Dan, Evan Connor, Connor and Rhys.

Students ready to row the boat they made at Pool Academy.  Charlie, Dan, Evan Connor,

Connor and Rhys.

History students sent to Bodmin Gaol

Pool Academy History students visited Bodmin Gaol to learn how prisons have evolved over the years.

The trip took place recently with the Year 9 History GCSE classes. A new section of the exam has been created around the subject of Crime and Punishment so the trip was organised to enrich studies.

During the day the students were taken on a guided tour of the prison and told about the history of the old 1700s building.

Mr Turner, History Teacher at Pool Academy, said: “There is a topic in the GCSE on how prisons have evolved and Bodmin is a great example of a reformed prison. Men and women were separated into individual cells in the 1700s.

“The students enjoyed it. I think they found it interesting as there were guided tours where they were told about individual prisoners.

“They were very positive about the trip.”

During the day trip the students also walked part of the Camel Trail back to the coach.

Mr Turner said it was the first time the trip had taken place but hoped to do it again in the future.


Successful summer for talented student

A Pool Academy student has been praised for her talents after performing at Port Eliot Festival and the Minack Theatre.

Francesca Goff, Year 11, has had a busy summer wowing the crowds with her acting after taking to the stage with the Drama Express theatre company.

Francesca Goff

Francesca Goff

The sun shone down on the thespians each time they performed the two short plays. One was about the patron saint of tin miners, St Piran, and the other was based on the Cornish explorer Richard Lander.
Francesca played  the part of Richard Lander’s wife, Frances.

Simon Allison, Drama Express Coordinator, said: “It was absolutely amazing and Francesca was fantastic. She was really good.

“We were so lucky with the weather at the events as well. We had sunshine.”

Mr Allison, who wrote the two plays, said it was the first time the theatre company had ever performed at Port Eliot Festival and the Minack Theatre.

He said the plays were well received by the crowds at both venues.

 “I am definitely confident we will be invited back next year,” he said.

Drama Express is a Cornish based project for people with disabilities who can get involved with acting, costume and other stage duties.

The group meet and rehearse at The Hall for Cornwall in Truro.

Mr Allison said Drama Express is becoming so popular there will soon have to be a waiting list for those wanting to join.  He added more volunteers were always welcome to help out and should email dramaexpress11@yahoo.com for more information.

Pool Academy Mascot Takes To The Road

Pool Academy mascot Buzz the Bear took to the road visiting primary schools to promote his latest competition.

The bear travelled to six different schools in the area on the hunt for budding reporters, presenters, engineers and designers.

It’s hoped Buzz will be launched into space for a second time at Pool Academy’s open evening on September 28. The countdown is planned to take place in front of parents and children interested in attending Pool Academy in the future.

A new balloon and extra equipment, including a 360 camera, have been brought in for the latest space mission to capture lots more exciting images from the edge of space.

Last week Buzz visited Treloweth Primary School, Illogan Primary School, Roskear Primary School, Rosemellin Primary School. Portreath Primary School and Pencoys Primary School.
Miss Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “It was lovely to take Buzz the Bear to so many schools and see so many smiling faces. We have already had a lot of entries for our competition and I can’t wait to meet the winners at our open day next week.”

Mr Callaway, from Treloweth Primary School, said: “After hearing Buzz the Bear’s adventure last year Treloweth was excited to learn about his next planned mission into Space.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our children to become engineers, designers, reporters and presenters for this wonderful project.”

Ros Powers, acting head at Illogan Primary School, said: "I think the competition is excellent. The children are very excited and we are looking forward to being part of it."

Mr Walsh, headteacher at Roskear Primary School, said: “Buzz's adventures are so exciting. We are looking forward to entering the competition and can't wait to see him launch on the 28th."

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GCSE Results Success!

Pool Academy’s Governors are delighted to be celebrating another fantastic set of outcomes for our students.  These outcomes are the result of hard work from our students, parents, staff and wider community and we are delighted that students have achieved the necessary grades to continue successfully onto the next stage of their education and training.


There are impressive outcomes across the board, including some outstanding individual achievements:

Megan H.  Achieved the new grade 9 in both English and Maths, topping these off with an additional 8 A* - A grades.

Joel H. Achieved the new grade 8 in English and Maths, topping these off with a further 9 A* - A grades.

Esther P.  Achieved the new grade 8 in English and Maths, topping these off with a further 8 A* - A grades.

Maria R.  Achieved a new grade 9 in Maths, double 7 in English and a further 8 A* - A grades.

Jamie S. Achieved a new grade 9 in Maths, 8 in English and a further 8 A* - B grades.

The new grade 9 represents the gold standard for GCSEs and is only available in English and Maths this year and awarded to the top 2-3% across the country. Amongst those students who achieved 9s are: Maria R, Jamie S, Jamie R and Megan H, who achieved 9 in both English and Maths.

Initial progress scores also suggest that 4 students exceeded all their estimates by at least 1 grade, with one student (Matthew B) exceeding his estimates by almost 2 grades.  A huge congratulations to Matthew B, Susan E, Carl B and Thomas B.

Chair of Governors Frank Baker said: “I am absolutely delighted for all the students and their families.  They have worked so hard for these outcomes and they certainly deserve every success.  Pool Academy’s community continues to go from strength to strength and everyone involved has every right to be very proud!  Students have the very best preparation for the world of work, through numerous opportunities to work with local employers and access to a large number of possible option subjects to study.  Strong successes in English and Maths this year were matched by outcomes in the Expressive Arts and Technological subjects, including 87% of students achieving A* - C in Drama and 84% in Electronics.  Balancing traditional and practical subjects ensures students have the opportunity to thrive in a range of subjects that are matched perfectly to their individual needs.”

Pool Academy rated Good in glowing Ofsted report

Staff and students at Pool Academy are celebrating after being rated Good in a glowing Ofsted report.

Good quality of education, effective safeguarding and respectful, good-humoured behaviour were all noted by inspectors.

The inspectors highlighted that teachers ‘have ensured that the curriculum allows pupils to succeed in a wide variety of GCSE subjects’, as well as the ‘strong’ progress in Science and the ‘attention to detail’ that students pay to their work across the school.

Zelma Hill, Pool Academy Principal, said it was fantastic to get such good feedback from the inspectors.

The Ofsted report read: “You and your senior leaders are working hard, and successfully, to improve the quality of teaching across the school.  Staff at all levels support your steadfast conviction that pupils of all backgrounds will be welcomed and given the chance to do well academically.”

It also pointed out that teachers are ‘well motivated and readily pass on their enthusiasm to pupils’ and ‘Inspectors saw many examples of respectful, good-humoured behaviour both between pupils and between pupils and staff’.

The report read: “Pupils who spoke to us during the inspection, from all year groups, said they feel safe at school. Leaders convey strong messages to pupils about how to stay safe in a variety of situations, including internet safety.”

Safeguarding was judged to be effective.

The report also stated: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.”

Mrs Hill said she was encouraged to hear the Student Leadership is ‘proud of their school’ and of their uniform, which inspectors commented on as ‘immaculate’.

Mrs Hill said: “This is such a fantastic way to finish my career. Pool Academy is a great school and I am sure under Miss Meakin’s leadership the school will continue to strive for excellence.”

Frank Baker, Chair of Governors at the school, said: “The governors are delighted for Ofsted to confirm the Academy’s “Good” rating and to identify progress in many areas of curriculum. We are also pleased that Ofsted recognised that the Academy is passionate about maintaining the inclusive nature of the school, allowing all pupils to feel well supported and to make good progress as a result.

You can read the whole report here

Past pupil with top Government role returns to Pool Academy

A top government official and former student returned to his roots to visit students at Pool Academy.

John Curnow, Chief Economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, arrived at the school this week (JULY 3) to speak to youngsters about his role.

Mr Curnow talked about his life at the Academy and the path he took to get to where he is today.

Pool Academy Students after having a workshop with John Curnow

Pool Academy Students after having a workshop with John Curnow

He then led workshops with Year 9 and Year 10 to demonstrate economics.

Mr Curnow said: “I really enjoyed coming back to Pool Academy. It has changed massively.

“It’s really nice to be back here after 25 years.

“It was great to meet the students and talk to them. They are a nice bunch and they had some really good questions.”

Dylan Sara, from Year 9, said: “It was a good session with Mr Curnow. I didn’t know anything about Economics before but now I feel like I know a little more.”

Beth Johns, form Year 9, said: “It was nice to learn about things we can do when we leave school.”

Zelma Hill, Pool Academy’s Principal, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome John Curnow back to Pool Academy.

"We want students to appreciate that the world is their oyster and they can do anything.

"People who have attended Pool Academy have gone on to do some great things."

Mr Curnow attended Pool Academy, or Pool School as it was known then, from September 1987 after attending Four Lanes School. Once he completed his A Levels in Redruth, he went on to get his first degree from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham.

Speaking about his time at Pool School he said: “I enjoyed lots of things here. I loved sport but also Maths and Geography. I made a load of life-long friends at school and had many teachers who inspired my interest in government, economics and how the country is run.”

He told students that in life you are often facing the  ‘unknown’ and need to recognise that things go wrong sometimes. He recommended persevering, maintaining a positive attitude and felt that there was the right job out there for everyone.

Mr Curnow took on the role as Chief Economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2016.

Before his current role he worked as Economics Director at the independent healthcare regulator, Monitor, as well as a range of economics and strategy roles in the health sector and in central Government, including working at HM Treasury, DfT, DCLG and, earlier in his career, environmental tax and appraisal issues.

Mr Curnow now lives in Hertfordshire and works in London.

Pool Academy students put through their paces during visit from Marines.

Pool Academy students were put through their paces after members of the marines visited recently.

Team building and problem solving skills, amidst numerous burpees, were the order of the day for a group of Year 9 and Year 10 students recently.

Lance-Corporal Charlie Llewellyn and Corporal Dan Pither travelled to the school from Commando Training Centre Royal Marines Lympstone.

They used ladders, tyres, rope and other items to help teach the importance of team work and give a glimpse into the life of a marine.

LCPL Llewellyn said they came down to lead the day to show ‘the way of the marines’.

He said: “There were team work games, activities for students to solve problems and physical problems.

“It was a way of showing the way of the marines. We were there for those thinking of joining.

“We always get a good response from the children talking part.”

One Year 9 student said: “This has inspired me to have a career as a marine. I have found it will be possible for women to join up for the first time in 2018.”

Another said: “Today we really improved our confidence by doing lots of team building activities.

Marines putting Pool Academy students through their paces  

Marines putting Pool Academy students through their paces  

“The best part was that we felt really pushed to our limits and it really tested us.”

Sharon Bright, PE teacher at Pool Academy, said: “The two royal marine commandos arrived to work with five different groups of students.

“The aim of the sessions was to teach them the importance of team work and give them an insight into life in the marines and other wider military.

“The students really enjoyed the sessions and worked really hard on all the challenges.

“We have had a good positive response from the students. They have loved it.”